My name is Jess Chen, and I’m one of the NYU Madrid study abroad liaisons for this semester! I’m currently a sophomore concentrating in Finance and Statistics, and minoring in Global Public Health. I’ve already been in Madrid for almost a month, which is crazy to even think about. So far, I’ve traveled to several cities in Spain including Barcelona, Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, Málaga, and Córdoba. However, for my blog post today, I will be talking about some lifestyle differences between New York and Spain in areas like food, culture, and more. A lot of this took me by surprise – so stay tuned!
3. Grocery Stores: Groceries are cheap, and supermarkets are everywhere. Generally, Madrid will have any basic groceries for a better price than in New York. There are even Asian grocery stores where I’d get frozen dumplings, noodles, and sauces that remind me of home. Another note is that fresh-squeezed orange juice is more popular than “normal” orange juice in Spain, and grocery stores offer the best price: a bottle for less than 2 euros. Normally, you’d use the orange juice machine and fill up a bottle yourself. No more $7 fresh-squeezed orange juice from Whole Foods…
5. NYU: The courses I am taking in Madrid are Foundations of Finance, Management and Organizations, Intensive Spanish, and Spain & the EU. Everyone who studies abroad in Madrid is required to take Spanish – don’t worry, there’s a level for everyone! I personally love learning Spanish because it helps me around Spain, and I’m starting to remember a lot from high school. The NYU Madrid staff are incredibly kind, and both the residence and school staff hold many events for students. For example, this semester, NYU Madrid is taking me on an overnight trip to Bilbao and Elciego.
6. Transportation: There is a pretty convenient metro in Madrid, but it’s not as fast as the New York metro. The metro in Madrid is much cleaner, bigger, and also very easy to navigate (especially with Google maps). Everyone here gets an unlimited metrocard for 20 euros/month, but if you’re feeling lazy one day, you can also take an uber. Many ubers are pretty cheap (i.e. all of my ubers during the day have been 5.50 Euros), but it definitely depends on the time of day.
My experience in Madrid so far has been exciting, different, and overall pretty amazing. Madrid is a very vibrant city with a ton of culture and definitely a lot to offer. Feel free to add me on Facebook if you have any more questions about studying abroad in Madrid. Until next time, USWIB!